Thursday, November 29, 2007

New Wheels

Well, they're used but new to me. And since they were last ridden by Bart I figure they've got to be fast right? Now I just need to figure out what tires to use and I'm in business. Last year I rode Conti GP4000 and Michelin Pro Race tires. Oh yeah, I also rode a pair of Maxxis Courchevals until the rear tire sustained a huge, nasty cut in the sidewall. Right now I'm thinking of trying the new GP4000 S. Any other suggestions? I've never ridden Vittoria, Veloflex or Hutchinson rubber.

Another related question: Does anybody buy tires at the shop when you can basically get two for the retail price of one on eBay? I buy a lot of stuff at my LBS but really struggle to justify spending an extra $30 on a pair of tires.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Just Not Feeling It

I left work at 3:30 this afternoon to do an hour on the BST but just wasn't feeling it. Perhaps it was the colder than expected temperature, the haze in the valley or the fact that evening arrives much too early that kept my legs and motivation from making an appearance. Oh well, I'm glad I forced myself out the door as the ride at least gave me an excuse to eat a good number of oatmeal cookies after dinner!

On a different subject, I really, really like my new Blackberry Curve. Originally my plan was to use the BB for a few months before picking up an iPhone. However, I like it so much that I may stick with it and save the $399. The only bummer is the fact that my company uses Good instead of Blackberry Enterprise Server which forces me to use Outlook Web Access to check my work email on the phone.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Water Support

I woke up feeling tired this morning so volunteered to provide water support for Cami during her trail run. I stayed close to her where I could (some trails are hiking only) and rode a few short loops in the opposite direction she was running so I could hand off the water bottle as we passed. Most of the ride was mellow but Cami decided to finish with a steep, sandy climb that I barely cleaned. Just as I was contemplating clipping out as my forward momentum stalled, she yelled at me to keep going which gave me the motivation to keep it rolling over the top. If I was cooked when we started, after that effort I was definitely well done and just rolled at her pace back to the car!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Better Late than Never

Logged 3 hours this morning in the Boise foothills with Goat's older brother who's in town from CO. We hit a few of the name-brand trails, riding some of them both directions: Hulls Gulch (both ways), Corrals (both ways), Bob's and Sidewinder.

I tested a new liquid energy drink on today's ride: Egg Nog. I poured a little more than 1 cup into my bottle for 400 calories of sweet, delicious goodness. Given the super cold temps it stayed nice and chilled. I'd take a small sip every 20 minutes or so followed by a big drink of water. I was worried that it would upset my stomach but I felt great and really enjoyed the guilt free consumption of Egg Nog!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

I have no food photography skills...

I tried to take some pictures of my dinner and dessert plates but none of them turned out very well. I held back a bit during dinner, only putting down two plates of potatoes, gravy, turkey, stuffing and rolls. For dessert I had a piece of pecan, pumpkin and chocolate cream pie (all homemade). I also had a few pieces of fudge and pear tart. Overall I think I did ok this Thanksgiving. However, the eating is far from over as my Mom always holds a few pies in reserve and I snagged another piece of pecan pie for later.

Turkey Day Shredding

Is it possible to shred when it's 20 degrees outside? Due to wind chill the downhill just wasn't as fun as it normally would be! I managed to get in 90 minutes of quality riding which doesn't give me the complete blank check I was hoping to have at the dinner table but bought me at least a few slices of pie. The Ridge to Rivers Trail System is always fun. I parked at Camelsback Park and rode over to Hulls Gulch. I took that up to the junction with Crestline but chose to ride the doubletrack over to 8th Street instead of taking the "freeway" down. I crossed the road and jumped on the Crane Gulch connector, finishing with Trail 31 (Corrals) and Bogus Basin road. The descent on the road was COLD and resulted in a killer brain freeze. There were a ton of people out on the trails and in the parks. Runners, road riders, mountain bikers, cyclocross riders, walkers and flag football players were all out braving the freezing temperatures. Cold temps aside, the weather was beautiful though it appears that Boise is prone to haze and inversions just like the valley in Salt Lake.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Stay tuned for pictures of my T-Day dinner. Until then I need to get out and ride in order to free up the calories that will be needed to manage the gluttony. Unfortunately the thermometer is currently sitting at 18 degrees... On a positive note the cold temps should result in even more calories being burned!

On a different subject, I spent a few hours yesterday trying to get email to work on my new Blackberry Curve only to discover that I didn't have a BB specific data plan. I wish all of the 'Getting Started' guides and online documentation would mention that small, but vitally important fact! Support is closed for the holidays and I can't add the BB plan online so I'm forced to wait until tomorrow. Lame.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Bonus Time: Lambert Park

I don't know if "bonus time" really applies to Lambert Park since it's possible to ride these trails basically year round. However, with temperatures in the 60's it sure felt like we were stealing something! After two rides with Fox I was ready to take it easy so today I rode with Cami who, after a rocky (literally!) start, rode strong. The sequence of little 1 foot jumps down Ruin (at least I think that's the name of the trail) was a ton of fun and we rode the top section a few times. The local deer were big, fat and very comfortable with bikers as they would just stand and watch us ride by.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Bonus Time: Salt Lake BST

With the exception of the haze in the valley, the past two days have been fantastic for riding. I've been heading out during lunch and plan to do the same tomorrow. Based on the weather forecast it looks like winter will finally show up next week. Gotta hit the trails while they're available.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Bonus Time: Park City Mid-Mountain

Kris and I met this morning at Park City Mountain Resort for some more late season bonus time on the Mid-Mountain trails. Spiro seemed steeper since the last time I climbed it in September, but with excellent dirt conditions and temperatures in the 50's I wasn't about to complain. I couldn't have asked for a better ride until I decided to play ping-pong with a couple of Aspens coming down Johns. Luckily it was towards the end and with the exception of two sore shoulders and a bruised ego I walked away unscathed. I'll let the pictures tell the rest of the story.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Bonus Time: Tibble Fork

Parked at the Tibble Fork turn-off and rode the pavement to Timpanooke with my neighbor Craig. Jumped on the singletrack and rolled up onto the Ridge Trail via the usual route. Only difference was this time we turned left and dropped into Tibble instead of making a right onto Deer Creek South Fork. Man, that downhill is sweet! Only clipped out once to save myself from falling in some mud and surprised myself by staying in the pedals through the steep switchbacks at the end. Good times for sure. The only bummer was the wake up call as to how much my fitness has slipped this past month.

Tomorrow is more bonus time on Mid-Mountain in Park City.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Me Too

Normally I pride myself on being a good example when I ride. Be it on the road or trail, I try to obey traffic signs/signals, yield to oncoming vehicles, hikers, uphill riders, dismount and move off the trail around horses, signal when I need to turn and/or change lanes, etc. However, there are times when I ride with guys who don't worry much about the above and I'm embarrassed to say that in most cases I end up following suit in order to stay with the group. Well, after reading Marco's post on the subject I've decided that I too will continue to ride how I ride, regardless of who I happen to be with and how they choose to behave.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Ron Paul: Not your average Republican

How cool is this guy? Talk about sticking it to the Man. He must ride.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Garage Sale

I don't have as much stuff as Bart to sell but I do have a few items collecting dust in my garage that I would like to see used. Lately I've been paying attention to the bike ads on Craigslist and it cracks me up how often people use the word deserves in their descriptions. For example, here's an excerpt from an ad placed yesterday:

This bike deserves to be ridden so I've finally decided to sell it. I've taken excellent care of it.

What makes me laugh is that most of the bikes that "deserve to be ridden" really suck. Besides, do you think the bike really cares? As much as we love our bikes, no matter how many good sensations we feel riding, the bike will never, ever express an opinion as to how frequently it leaves the garage. So with that in mind I present to you the parts I have to sell. And, while this stuff certainly doesn't come with any demands as to how often each should be used, I would like to note that you, the reader/rider/prospective buyer, certainly deserves to ride. And nothing makes riding more fun than new (to you) stuff!

  • 2003 Trek 5200 OCLV frame + fork + Chris King NoThreadSet (black) + SRAM Rival Compact Crankset (175 mm arms, 50/34 rings) - $500

    Notes: You can see a picture from last year here. However, I removed a number of the decals this spring so it looks slightly different now.

  • 2004 Velomax Circuit II wheelset (Shimano) - $100

  • Selle Italia Prolink Light Gel Flow Saddle - $40

All are used and have their share of cosmetic flaws (paint chips, nicks in the decals, scuffs, etc.) but are perfectly functional. I rode the frame until I bought my new Madone this September and the wheels have been on my wife's bike the past 3 seasons. I used the saddle on my mountain bike last year.

If you're interested in any of the above let me know (comment/email/call) and we'll arrange a time for you to look at the item(s).

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Easy Rider

Maybe I should rename my blog to 'Easy Rider' instead of 'UtRider' since all I seem capable of doing lately is riding easy! Of course, it's November and given that my first race of 2008 won't be until March I suppose I have plenty of time to work on riding faster.

After arriving home late Monday night following the drive back from Moab, I woke up Tuesday morning feeling like I was coming down with a cold: The classic scratchy throat and headache. Both kids have had runny noses for a while so looking back I suppose it was inevitable that sooner or later I would too. So I stayed off the bike for a few days which, I might add, was difficult to do given the fantastic weather we've been enjoying. Well, yesterday I couldn't take any more rest and asked Kris if he was interested in an easy ride on the Draper trails after work. Since he'd already ridden at lunch with Todd and Mike from the team I figured he'd be sufficiently fatigued to enjoy rolling at a mellow pace. He was good to go so we cruised around on the trails for 90 minutes Friday evening. Today I wanted to ride with Cami in order to keep the mellow theme going so we rode for 2 hours up Yellow Fork canyon with another couple from the neighborhood. Surprisingly horse traffic was minimal and even the dreaded "green mud" was relatively sparse on the trails. Good times and I'm actually starting to feel like I'm recovering from the cold.

I'm going to follow Bart's lead and clean out my garage so look for a Garage Sale post in the upcoming days. Also, if anybody knows of a used full suspension mountain bike (preferably a size Large but depending on the geometry a Medium might also work) in good condition with at least XT level components for sale in the $1,000 - $2,000 price range let me know. My AZ brother is looking to buy a bike and has asked me to act as consultant. If you know of anything either leave a comment or send me an email (just click the link in the sidebar).